Techeetah will become a manufacturer team from season five after they agreed a deal to partner with DS Automobiles.
Up until now the Chinese team have been a customer of Renault, and used their powertrain to secure the driver’s title this year with Jean-Eric Vergne.
However Techeetah chose to tie-up with DS after the French manufacturer’s relationship with their current team, DS Virgin Racing, was rumoured to have soured months ago.
It means that the Chinese team, who are a much smaller outfit than many of their rivals, will benefit from the far greater resources that DS provide and be allowed to benefit from the increased testing opportunities that manufacturers are given.
Speaking about the deal, Techeetah President Edmund Chu said he was excited to see what the two organisations could achieve now that they were working together and not as rivals.
“We’re very excited about teaming up with DS Automobiles as we enter a new era of Formula E with the Gen 2 car,” Chu said. “DS has extensive experience in Formula E having been a championship manufacturer since Season Two and finishing within the top three each season.
“We’ve had some brilliant battles on track this season with DS and we can’t wait to combine the wealth of experience and expertise of arguably two of the best teams in the paddock, as Techeetah becomes a manufacturer team for the first time.”
“We’re the small customer team that could take on the giants, a team where anything is possible. This is the spirit that we’re taking into our new partnership with DS and we are looking forward to a very competitive time together.”
DS made no mention of why they chose not to continue their relationship with the Virgin Racing team, but their Director of Performance Xavier Mestelan Pinon said that Techeetah’s strong performance in this year’s championship is what attracted them to the team.
“Our involvement in Formula E is an integral part of DS Automobiles’ commitment to the electrification of our model line-up,” he said.
“The DS E-TENSE FE 19’s development began several months ago with the objective of being in a position to challenge for the top step of the podium from the opening race of the 2018/2019 campaign.
“Our association with Techeetah, who recently celebrated winning the 2017/2018 Drivers’ Title in addition to coming second in the Teams’ standings, is geared towards this target.
“Techeetah has demonstrated their exceptional skill and knowledge in electric street-racing over the last season and we’re looking forward to combining our expertise to create a championship winning team and I am convinced that our two entities will dovetail perfectly.”
The team have said they will reveal the new livery of the car and their driver line-up for the 2018-19 season at the beginning of October.